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Tempe prostitution sting nets 16 arrests

Jul 17, 2014

Arizona Republic

Don't these police officers have any REAL criminals to hunt down??? You know real criminals that hurt people, like robbers, rapists and muggers. Not people that are involved in the victimless crime of prostitution!!!!

Cops love the laws that make "victimless crimes" illegal, because it's a lot easier to arrest people for victimless crimes like prostitution or drug war crimes, then it is to arrest people who commit real crimes that hurt people.

Tempe prostitution sting nets 16 arrests

Katie Bieri, The Republic | 10:18 p.m. MST July 16, 2014

Sixteen men were arrested at a Tempe hotel last week as part of a two-day prostitution sting and an ongoing citywide investigation into crimes related to sex trafficking, police said.

Police made the arrests on July 8 and July 9 at a hotel near the intersection of Priest Drive and Baseline Road, said Lt. Scott Smith, a spokesman for the Tempe Police Department.

Out of the 16 men arrested, 15 face charges for activities ranging from soliciting prostitution to indecent exposure, Smith said. Another suspect arrested faces drug-possession charges, according to the T

Smith said last week's bust was one of the first in a citywide crackdown aimed at targeting prostitution crimes.

"We're not going to tolerate it anymore," Smith said. "Enough is enough."

The ages of those arrested ranged from 27 to 71 years old, Smith said. They also represented a variety of socio-economic backgrounds and demographics.

Smith emphasized that prostitution is frequently coupled with sex trafficking, a trade many are forced into in their early teenage years.

Just last month, FBI agents and local police rescued 168 victims of child sex trafficking from around the country, including many who had never been reported missing, the FBI said.

In addition, 281 pimps were arrested as part of the same nationwide initiative, an annual enforcement push known as Operation Cross Country.

"We're finally coming together to attack (the problem)," Smith said.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer also signed legislation into law in April that would add protections to victims of sex-trafficking crimes and increase penalties for "johns," or buyers, dealing with underage children.

The Tempe Police Department confirmed that most of the men arrested in last week's sting were local residents.

Smith said this initiative wasn't originally proposed to prepare for Super Bowl sex trafficking, but their department will certainly continue to increase focus on the issue as the event gets closer. The Super Bowl will be held at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale in February, seven years after Glendale hosted its first bowl game that drew about 125,000 fans to the Phoenix area.

Police encourage anyone with information on prostitution-related crimes in the area to call the Tempe Police Department at (480) 350-8311 or the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888. Calls also can be made to Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS or 480-TESTIGO for Spanish speakers.

Smith advised residents to watch for increased foot-to-vehicle traffic in areas or suspicious groups of young people going into hotels or motels.

"If you're involved, be prepared to be contacted by law enforcement," Smith said. "Be prepared to be arrested. It won't be tolerated."

Eric Tucker of the Associated Press contributed to this article.